Trade Show Logistics / Shipping Challenges – Rush “Ground” shipments

Trade Show Logistics / Shipping Challenges – Rush “Ground” shipments, Team Drivers, Trucking Teams, Moving Shipments rapidly from one show to another

*** What are your options for moving a crated trade show exhibit or stand across the United States in a very short time frame? ***

Air Shipping or rush Ground Shipping

Air shipping – very fast at very high cost – 2 – 3 times cost of “rush” ground (over the road) shipment
Size limited – Some crates will not fit on plane
Crates may take up so much of airplane cargo space that pricing is prohibitive and some crates cannot be laid on their side to fit in the plane without damaging the crate’s contents.

Ground “Rush” Shipping
Semi-Trucks or 18 wheelers may be driven by a team of drivers which allows a truck to move completely across the US in 3 days. Trucking safety rules (laws) require drivers to take a break of at least 30 minutes for every eight hours they drive, and driver’s must maintain a daily 11-hour limit on driving. By choosing a team of drivers for transport, you make it possible for a truck to be on the road for 22 out of 24 hours. As a result, a semi-trailer truck or “tractor trailer” can move much farther, much faster when driven by a team of two drivers.

Choosing a driving team for a trade show project:

Team should have trade show pick-up and delivery experience
Team must be willing to communicate directly with you as customer for your piece of mind and to help you coordinate the logistics of the move – if you need to move your freight this quickly, chances are you will also need to help the truck get into the dock for Outload and into the next dock for Inload
Team should be familiar with routing to avoid bad weather areas (snow / ice)

Remember that with a really tight time frame between trade shows, there are four different variables to control:

1) Receiving your empty crates at your booth directly after the show for quickest pack-up
2) Moving your crates into the semi-trailer ahead of the “normal” move-out schedule
3) Movement of the loaded tractor trailer across the country in the shortest time frame
4) Movement of your crates into the next show without the “normal” delays inherent in the trade show freight move-in process

Work with show management early to determine:
1) Did trade show management put a plan in place to move trade show displays and product from one show to the other as part of a show to show caravan?

2) Did the general contractor put a plan in place to move trade show displays and product from one show to the other as part of a show to show caravan?

3) Communicate early and often with trade show management and the general contractor to let them know of the logistics challenge both during load out for the first show and load in for the next show

Twice, by my team raising concerns with trade show management and / or the general contractor, we actually became the organizers of the show to show caravan. Do not assume that show management or the general contractor knows of the scheduling problem prior to you bringing it to their attention. It may look like they should, but it is very possible that neither organization is aware of the logistical challenge created by the trade show schedule in your industry.

We were recently able to move an exhibit out of a major trade show in Las Vegas a day earlier than scheduled (approximately 5 hours after show close) and into Javitz Convention Center in NY, NY with 2.5 days transit time. In one day, we moved the freight into Javitz, installed the exhibit, and merchandised the exhibit in time for show open the next morning. It is fairly common for freight to be delayed at Javitz for 6 hours or more before movement into this convention center. This was completed in February, winter in much of the country that the truck crossed.

Completion of this project required many e-mails over a 2 month period (approximately 100) and multiple phone calls with show management, the general contractor and the logistics (shipping) company. In fact, in this case, GES logistics was not willing to handle the shipment because of the ultra-short timeline. However, our truck became the “caravan vehicle” for multiple shipments between shows, so we were able to share costs with multiple exhibitors, reducing transport costs. One of the exhibits was a custom 20’ x 20’ and another a custom 20’ x 30’. Both displays were ready for show open, after being dismantled 3000 miles from Manhattan, only 3.5 days earlier. Most importantly, in both cases neither exhibit could be transported by airplane, and both exhibitors reduced shipping costs by 66% or more.

About Exhibit and Display Consultants: EDC was founded in 2002, by Brett Lipeles, a former corporate trade show manager in the Fortune 1000 and partner at a trade show exhibit house and trade show display builder. EDC is a services and display provider for exhibitors who need “best in class” service at lower than average costs. If your company needs a team that will provide the best possible and least expensive “turn-key” solutions at the lowest possible costs, we are the marketing partner that you are seeking. Give us a call today for a free consultation – 401-273-5372 or info@exhibitconsultants.com.